The chaplaincy team at St John Rigby College in Wigan hosted chaplains from neighbouring Catholic high schools for a day dedicated to missionary discipleship, Christian commitment and engagement which was led by Mill Hill priest Father Kevin Hughes.
The day began with a morning workshop at the Orrell-based sixth-form college before Father Kevin celebrated Mass along with a visiting priest from Africa, Father Emanuel. With St John Rigby boasting strong links to its partner Catholic high schools, there were invitations for the chaplains from Our Lady Queen of Peace, Skelmersdale; St Edmund Arrowsmith, St Peter's and St John Fisher, all Wigan; St Mary's, Astley; Holy Cross, Chorley; and St Bede's, Ormskirk. Together these schools form the Wigan Catholic Education Partnership whose head teachers, teachers and pupils work closely to support the continuation of strong Catholic education from Years 7–13.
Crucially, there was the opportunity for current St John Rigby sixth-formers to meet the chaplains from their former high schools. St Edmund Arrowsmith old girl Melissa Pace said: 'It was lovely to see my school chaplain and catch up. This event keeps the links between school and college strong.'
St John Rigby chaplain Martin Malone explained: 'We wanted to ensure students from our Catholic partners were settling well into sixth-form life. The time with the chaplains was thoughtful and Fr Kevin led the event exceptionally well. I would like to thank him for his reflections.'
St John Rigby College recently became the first Catholic sixth-form college judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted under a new inspection framework and thus has become the first-choice college for pupils from a wide range of schools.
The college's head of Religious Education, Michelle McGlown, added: 'Our chaplains day aimed to continue the excellent work that takes place in our partner schools. The joy of Catholic education is that we all share common values.'